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Irene Gone; But Damage Left In Its Wake (Updated Monday 4 p.m.)

August 29, 2011 by Josh Morgan

Hurricane Irene walloped the state on Sunday and caused widespread power outages across the region.
According to Connecticut Light & Power, as of 4 p.m. Monday, there were more than 1,300 customers without power in Cheshire. That represents approximately 12 percent of the Town. That marks a significant improvement from the peak outages seen around 5 p.m. Sunday, when there were more than 7,600 outages reported in Cheshire.
As of late Sunday night, CL&P was reporting more than 560,000 outages (45 percent of customers) across the state. United Illuminating, which serves other communities in the state, is also reporting severe power outages, with more thousands of customers still without electricity.
CL&P announced earlier Sunday that it was sending 800 line and tree crews around the state to begin restoring power. Around 70 percent of that workforce will operate during the daylight hours, beginning at 7 a.m., while the remaining 30 percent will handle the overnight duties. According to CL&P, the outages experienced with Irene far exceeded the previous record that was set in 1985 with Hurricane Gloria.
“The damage from this storm was unprecedented and the restoration process may take a week or longer in some areas,” said Jeff Butler, CL&P president and chief operating officer. “We ask for and appreciate the understanding and patience of our customers during this difficult process.”
It was announced on Saturday that Cheshire Public Schools would be closed today, pushing back the first day of school until Tuesday.
According to Cheshire Police Lt. James Fasano, there were widespread outages throughout Cheshire with reports of downed power lines and tree limbs. South of the Police Station, a large tree fell across the road and closed a portion of Route 10 for most of Sunday morning. The debris was cleared and Route 10 was re-opened.
Wallingford Road, as well as more than 20 other Town roads, were shut down at one point because of fallen debris and downed power lines, but now all Cheshire streets are open. According to Fasano, the storm caused trees to fall into at least two houses in Cheshire, causing moderate damage. Luckily, no injuries were reported.
Flooding was not a problem Sunday in Cheshire, local officials stated.
"Residents are reminded to stay off the roads and away from downed trees and power lines and to report unsafe conditions to the Police department," Fasano said.
To reach the Cheshire Police Department, dial (203) 271-5500.
If there is an emergency, immediately call 911.
Keep checking back with The Cheshire Herald, as updates will be posted as soon as they become available.

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